Letters to the Editor

Cutbacks at veteran affairs department are shameful

To the Editor,

I am appalled at the treatment of Canada’s veterans by the Veteran Affairs department, and very concerned that the closure of veterans offices across the country is yet another way to stifle all interests that do not fall in line with the prime minister’s agenda.

I worked a dozen years on Parliament Hill, and I had a long and challenging intervention with the department simply to get assistance for a veteran of Canada’s Second World War Merchant Marines. The fellow had lost a leg when his ship was torpedoed, and he was facing abject poverty as a result of the government’s unwillingness to recognize those who served in the Merchant Marines. This arbitrary discrimination, and rather contemptuous treatment of Canada’s veterans appears to be continuing with the present government. I applaud the support from those across Canada who are insisting on a fair and honest process that will see all veterans respectfully compensated and assisted for the sacrifices they’ve made on behalf of democracy and the people of Canada.

The prime minister should be ashamed of himself, and we should all let him know he is not going to get away with this dismissive and dishonourable treatment of veterans.

Laurie Gourlay

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